Together responds to consultation on Gender Recognition Act 2004

Date: 27th February 2018
Category: Non-discrimination

Together has responded to a consultation on the review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 which seeks views on a reform of the legal gender recognition process.

The consultation, undertaken by Scottish Government, proposes extending the legal gender recognition process to under 18s. Together's response discusses the importance of children's rights in the debate on equal recognition for transgender children and young people. We highlight the right of the child to have their views heard in matters that affect them (article 12) and how the evolving capacities of the child (article 5) should be taken into account when considering at what age a child or young person can apply for legal gender recognition.

Together has responded to questions 1, 5, 6, 12 and 13. The key messages included in our response are:

  • A self-declaratory system of legal gender recognition should be introduced to ensure the right of transgender children and young people to be free from discrimination, as laid out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Together welcomes the Scottish Government's consideration of allowing 16 and 17 year-olds to apply for and obtain legal gender recognition. This will ensure that children and young people's right to have their views heard in decisions that affect them is fulfilled.
  • Any system that is implemented for children and young people under the age of 16 should embed the child's rights to be heard and fully consider the evolving capacities of the child.
  • Non-binary children and young people should be legally recognised in order to ensure their rights are respected, including the right to be protected from discrimination.

  • Read Together's full response here.